In September 1971 Congress repealed the Emergency Detention Act, Title II of the McCarran Internal Security Act of 1950. This act had authorized the President to apprehend and detain any person suspected as a threat to internal security during a national emergency. This article analyzes the Title II repeal campaign between 1967 and 1971, revealing that the public historical memories of Japanese American internment greatly influenced support for repeal in Congress and among the American public. Civil rights and antiwar protesters both feared that such a law might be used against them, but Japanese Americans had been interned during World War II. Their presence in the repeal campaign made the question of detention starkly real and the need for repeal persuasive. Conversely, their work for repeal allowed them to address a painful part of their American experience and speak publicly as a community.

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